Carnegie Mellon University

Atrocities and Elevators

Bruce Robbins, Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities, Columbia University

November 10, 2022 at 3:00 in Posner Hall 340, Posner Grand Room

Political criticism is interesting, and worth learning to do well, because so many of its objects are not political in the strong sense, or (like the “political novel”) resist politics, or even tend to dissolve political classifications and suggest their irrelevance.  This paper will take up two categories of cultural objects that defy simple location on the classic left/right spectrum and yet demand to be considered in political terms: infrastructure and atrocity.

Bruce Robbins is Old Dominion Foundation Professor in the Humanities at Columbia University.  His latest book, Criticism and Politics: A Polemical Introduction, has just been published by Stanford UP. He is also author of  The Beneficiary (Duke UP 2017),  Perpetual War: Cosmopolitanism from the Viewpoint of Violence (Duke, 2012), Upward Mobility and the Common Good: Toward a Literary History of the Welfare State (Princeton, 2007), Feeling Global: Internationalism in Distress (NYU, 1999), Secular Vocations: Intellectuals, Professionalism, Culture (Verso, 1993) and The Servant's Hand: English Fiction from Below (Columbia, 1986; Duke pb 1993).

Seminar with Professor Robbins

November 11, 2022,12:00-1:15, BH 254Q 

Readings from his new book Criticism and Politics and Zadie Smith's short story "The Embassy of Cambodia".

Lunch provided. Registration is required.

Register now